Strays, directed by Josh Greenbaum (known for “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar”) and written by Dan Perrault (from Netflix’s “American Vandal”), takes a humorous approach to the sentimental “man and his dog” genre. Unlike traditional dog movies that focus on the heartwarming bonds between humans and their pets, Strays takes a more daring path by showcasing the gritty and challenging realities of dog ownership.
The story follows Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell), a loyal Border Terrier, who is blissfully ignorant of his owner Doug’s (Will Forte) true character. Despite the abusive nature of their relationship, Reggie sees it all as a game. When Reggie finds himself abandoned by Doug and thrust into the city, he joins forces with Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a street-smart Boston Terrier, who opens Reggie’s eyes to the life of a stray.
Initially, Reggie’s only desire is to return to Doug, but under Bug’s guidance, he transforms into a vengeful canine with a singular mission: to get back at Doug in a rather unconventional way. The journey gathers momentum as Maggie (voiced by Isla Fisher), an Australian Shepherd, and Hunter (voiced by Randall Park), a Great Dane, join Reggie’s cause, each with their own quirks and motivations that form a quirky yet formidable team.
The voice cast, including Will Ferrell, Isla Fisher, Jamie Foxx, and Randall Park, showcase impeccable comedic timing. Their performances are both amusing and well-calibrated, veering between comedic highs and touching moments. Director Josh Greenbaum, delivers a screenplay by Dan Perrault that keeps the laughs coming, and even if the movie doesn’t delve into the intricacies of the story, it’s a deliberate choice that keeps the focus on the comedic essence of the script.
Strays masterfully blends its crude humor with a surprising affection that will resonate with viewers. It’s a unique blend that doesn’t feel out of place, drawing the audience into the world of foul-mouthed yet endearing dogs on a mission. Strays stands as a bold contender for the funniest film of the year.